Monthly Archives: February 2016

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 3)

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This week’s installment of our lesson, we will take a look at “Heavenly Rewards” and “Victory”. We should expect these things because it is given to us by God. On behalf of Christ, He imparts these to us so that we will give our best for Him. Check the Bible verses and meditate on it. We can clearly see the goodness of our heavenly Father that will make us cling for Him daily. If you are not yet saved, think of these things and pray that God will give you faith to accept His gospel.
5. Heavenly Rewards

“And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”1 Peter 5:4

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

Out of gratitude of His glorious gospel that saved us and also because God sets us in good works (Ephesians 2:10) after He grants us salvation, in heaven we will receive rewards because of our works for Christ. Our service to Him will be finally recognized and given rewards. We will face Christ not at Him juridical bench but an awarding ceremony for the works we did for Him. Will you be there at that event? What rewards will you receive from our gracious God?
6. Victory

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15: 56-58

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” 1 John 5: 4

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8: 37

In this life we always strive for excellence. We do all we can to win in every area in our life. Sometimes we triumph in battles we face. Sometimes we have to surrender. God’s child also goes with this daily struggle. But the good news is that we are victorious through the goodness of God. He might not have that trophy or medal but we have God and His promises that make us a winner. We don’t want to be in the losing side here and in eternity. Come to Christ who won the victory for us.

(to be concluded next week…)

The Fiction Factor: Delighting Grace Interviews Author D. A. Chan

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We are fan boys (and girls) of fiction books and we see that as we cheer as our favorite books came to life in movies. There are lots of book based movies recently, one of which is the highly acclaimed “Hunger Games” trilogy. We are clamoring for it ever since it was on its still in its book form. So it begs the question: why do we love fiction? We caught up with an up and coming author, David Anthony Chan to talk about fiction books, his favorite novels and his debut novel “The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds”.
Delighting Grace: Hi pastor! My first question is why should Christians read fiction?

David Anthony Chan: Well, I wouldn’t say “should.” I DO, however, encourage Christians to include fiction in their literary diet because it helps give them a good idea about the social and spiritual topography of their day. Of course, every reader should be discerning and vigilant in choosing books. There are some really good fiction books out there with wonderful values, and there are less-than-ideal books as well. Discernment is key.

Delighting Grace: All of us are fan of fiction books. So what is your favorite book?

David Anthony Chan: That is one of the hardest questions I’ve ever heard. Tolkien’s LOTR will always be in my fave-list. “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing The Darkness” by Frank Peretti are also very good. I thoroughly enjoyed “I Am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore, and still follow the series until now. There are so many good books that it’s really difficult to answer this question. There’s no one-good-book-to-rule-them-all, but if I were forced to choose, LOTR would take the cake.

Delighting Grace: For you what makes an unforgettable story?

David Anthony Chan: It must be out-of-this-world enough to tickle the imagination, while simultaneously addressing a human condition that everyone can relate to.

Delighting Grace: How about Christian fiction? Is the Pinoy reader ready for this kind of genre?

David Anthony Chan: Absolutely! Now more than ever. With the advent of Wattpad and so many reading devices, I think that Pinoys in general have become more appreciative of the written word, especially Christian fiction. In my opinion, Pinoys have become so influenced by so many different values and ideals that pull them toward opposing directions, that there is a kind of disconnect and anxiety that resides in the subconscious level. Christian fiction addresses this issue quite effectively because it promotes values that many people long for, even if they don’t admit it (initially).

Delighting Grace: What fiction books do you recommend to be read by Christians?

David Anthony Chan: “Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien! I would also recommend “This Present Darkness” and it’s sequel, “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti. I think that LOTR should be read at least once by every person who claims to be a fiction lover.

Delighting Grace: Do you believe that books, fiction or nonfiction; carry some sort of yearning for something spiritual? No matter how secular it is does it have this “search for God mode”?

David Anthony Chan: Yes I do. Books are simply words printed on paper. These words come from every author’s heart, and out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. In the heart of every person, every man, woman, and child, there is a brokenness. Deep down, we know that we are all broken vessels. No parents teaches his child to lie, steal, or cheat, because it is natural; but we constantly encourage each other to fight the uphill battle against evil, greed, deceit, and a host of other forms of wickedness. And this is the one common theme that you will find in every book: the longing for redemption from this broken state that we’re all in.

Delighting Grace: You wrote a book. Tell us what it is all about.

David Anthony Chan: At the heart of the story is Chris Sayther, revived from the dead multiple times thanks to his affiliation with Tironius, a member of a noble house of a race known as the Kindred. Complicating this relationship is the fact that Chris harbors a steadily growing love for Elline, Tironius’ daughter, who is obliged to be with another. The conflicts inherent in this odd triangle are only intensified by a looming war between man and kindred. As an epic conflict between two species and two worlds ramps up, the bonds between Chris and Elline run into potentially disastrous challenges.

Delighting Grace: Wow that is a great story. Can you share with us the process of writing and publishing your book?

David Anthony Chan: Writing and publishing are two different animals. For writers, the writing part is the easy part because it’s natural for them. Writers love to write. They love words, thoughts, and the process of transferring thoughts on paper. Each writer has a different process. Personally, I am a plotter, which means I think of an idea first, then build on it while taking notes. Then, I write everything, then I polish everything. Others prefer to write a few chapters, polish the chapters, then continue writing new chapters. Others prefer not to plot at all, and just sit in front of a keyboard and let the story “just happen.”

Publishing, on the other hand, is a completely different world. This had more to do with talking to publishers, checking out prices, and figuring out different marketing routes. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the process of publishing Between Two Worlds; considering the fact that I dreaded the thought to begin with.

Delighting Grace: What advice or tips can you give a budding writer who wants to write his own novel?

David Anthony Chan: I have three pieces of advice:
FIRST: Read “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Ingermanson and Economy.
SECOND: Fall in love with what you plan to write. It can be a character, a concept, a story world, a scene… it doesn’t matter which one, as long as you fall in love with one. It is this love that will propel you to finish an entire novel.
THREE: Get it written before getting it right. In other words, accept that your first draft will be terrible. That is the point of the first draft.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity to interview you, pastor . Please do invite our readers to check your book and also how do they get in touch with you.

David Anthony Chan: Thank you also for this opportunity to spread the word about my debut novel.
My book is available on Amazon under the title “The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds” and it has received good reviews (please take the time to go through them). It will also be available in National Bookstore by the end of this year. At the moment, you can order your copies by sending an email to dachanchronicles@gmail.com
Delighting Grace: Again thank you pastor. We hope and pray that you’ll be successful in your career.

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 2)

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I heard a preacher once said that the word “free gift” in Ephesians 2: 8-9 lost its meaning in our time. We are incline to pay or work to get what we want. That’s how the real world works. Receiving something free is beyond how we are wired. Also when pride sets in our heart it wouldn’t allow us to accept the gospel. Unless God makes the initiative, salvation won’t be possible. Will you accept the gospel today? Now let’s go on with #3 and #4 of our list of things we miss out if we don’t turn to the gospel:
3. Truth

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

“even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14: 17

Everyone doesn’t want to dwell in falsehood. We want to be in the good or right side. Even if culture suppresses having the concept of truth, there is truth. We don’t want to deceive or be deceived. We want to know if what we believe is the truth. Truth being subjective is a farce. There is objective truth. Jesus invites us to come to Him if we want to know the truth. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting the truth. What is left when we reject the truth is, by default, we accept falsehood.

4. Adoption

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Romans 8:15-17

“to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4: 5-7

“he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:5

There is a song that became the theme of Pope Francis visit here in the Philippines. The message of it is that “we are God’s children”. But biblically that is not true. Not all are God’s children. We are all made in the image of God but according to John 1: 12” But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”. There’s a difference between an image bearer to a legitimate son. Our physical birth enables us to be bearers of His image, being born again grants us to be God’s children. Believing in Jesus is our ticket to become sons of God. That is the very core of the gospel. Immediately, when we receive the gospel, we became God’s children. Rejecting this truth will keep us on bondage with sin and Satan. Salvation is not just rescuing us from our sin but giving us a new identity. Salvation will not just take us to heaven but most importantly it gives us rights on why we are to be there with God. Are you a child of God?

(to be continued next week…)

The Quotable Round-Up #19

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Here are the freshest quotes from your favorite Christian authors. May this bring encouragement to you throughout the week. Enjoy!
“Faith’s neediness yields to faith’s trust.”
— David Powlison
“To obey God’s will is to love well because you are loved well.”
–David Powlison
“Functional atheism is our most natural state of mind.”
–David Powlison
“The human will is desperately set against God and is the great devourer and destroyer of thousands of good intentions and emotions which never come to anything permanent because the will is acting in opposition to that which is right and true.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon
“If the kingdom of God doesn’t sound absolutely beautiful to you, you will always be finding other things to worship.”
–Ed Welch
“The saints are not marked most deeply by what they do but by who they are. They are born again. They are a new creation. They do not go in and out of this newness. It is God’s work. And it is irrevocable. But the fruit of it in faith and obedience is a fight to the end.”
–John Piper
“The distance between us and God is infinite in every way. But God’s is infinitely great to span that distance.”
–Richard D. Phillips

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 1)

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The gospel is God’s precious message to the fallen humanity. It is “good news” for us who are in bondage of sin. It doesn’t just guarantee us heaven but that the wrath of God and guilt of sin were relinquished by the power of the cross. No other news in the world or history compares to the gospel that saves. Having that reality applied to us, the elect is truly the privileged ones on earth. But what if we reject this gospel? What are the consequences for neglecting such precious news? Here are 7 things we will surely miss if we don’t receive this love from God:
1. Peace
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

 

Peace is a scarce commodity in this world. Wars, violence, heartaches are some of the things that will bog us down. Yet ignoring the call of the gospel, we deprive ourselves with this rare commodity. This peace is not just something that will give us a good night sleep. Nor it will erase every conflict that we know of. Its peace that is promised by God through Jesus Christ that we can hold on to here and in eternity. Conflict will still be there but God will give us strength to endure such situations. Do you want peace? Receive the gospel today!

2. Love

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 6-8

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15: 9

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,”
Ephesians 2: 4

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4: 10

“Love” is a four letter word that has be marred with twisted definitions by this world. Love according to God’s Word is not just loving the unlovable but dying for the unlovable. The unlovable humanity hasn’t, can’t and will not prove anything to gain a good standing before a holy God. Yet out of the mercy of God, He took the initiative to love the unlovable. This love is an everlasting love written with God’s blood. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting true love. This world is hungry for true and deep love. God’s love can be yours if you accept His gospel. Neglecting the love of God will cost you a loveless eternity.

(to be continued next week…)

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways To Thank God For It) Part 4

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 It’s almost a month and have you seen how God is moving in your life this 2016?  Maybe you’re still going in rough times and not sure where is God in all of this. Good or bad it might be, God is still there for us. That’s not just some empty encouragement but that’s stating the reality. And its still worthy of your praise. Here’s the last two ways to thank God for His confidence boosters.

 

  • Acknowledge His limitless power

“Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness”. Isaiah 40: 21-23

 

His power is not just something that is epic in proportions. We might not see a big miracle like a sea parting or raining food everyday but to see God as all powerful. After all He created everything. He saved you from sin. He lets you breath. That enough to consider Him powerful and sovereign. Therefore He can work His power in you.

 

 

  • Keep in mind He doesn’t withhold his promise to strengthen us.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40: 29-30

 

If you’re a child of God never entertain the thought that He will withdraw His promise to us. Thank Him for those promises and depend on Him always. Spiritually He can and He will sustain us. We might not be an apostle or a disciple of Jesus Christ in Bible times, but our God and their God is the same. He strengthen them through trials, crisis and in the brink of death. He will also do that to us.